For decades, George Soros' unique style in investing and speculating has made him and his clients billions of dollars. It enabled him to put aside his financial management activities for social and political issues that concerned him.
Considered one of the richest people in the world with a net worth estimated at some $20 billion, Soros began his concentration on issues that were philanthropic but also focused on left-wing causes that were controversial.
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Here are six of his biggest controversies:
As a provocative investor, Soros took a huge risk of some $10 billion on a currency speculation, shorting the British pound. The pound trade earned him more than $1 billion, but he was later called "the man who broke the Bank of England," according to Investopedia.
Soros also bet against the Thailand currency, which critics say helped cause the Asian financial crisis of 1997.
His political views have influenced his contributions. Soros established his Open Society Foundations in 1984 to advance, among other things, public health, education and business development in regions throughout the world, but his views on opposing the War on Drugs and criticizing the Israel lobby have led to financial support of controversial projects.
Soros' Open Society Foundations have donated millions of dollars in funds to pro-net neutrality groups, according to a Media Research Center report. Critics claim the groups Soros helped fund have ties to the Obama White House and regulatory agencies that threaten to impose rules and regulations on the private use of the Internet, according to The Washington Examiner.
Soros' financial support of groups such as the ACLU and Human Rights Watch have helped promote Soros' contention that the U.S. oppresses the rights of people here and abroad, according to Discover the Networks.
Soros' Open Society Institute provided the ACLU Foundation with more than $8 million in contributions between 1999 and 2008. Discover the Networks maintains that the ACLU and Human Rights Watch groups have interfered with America's war on terrorism. The groups often blame America for the rise of terrorism around the world because of its alleged denial of global fundamental rights.
Contributions from Soros to pro-Democratic Party organizations help fund "shadow networks" that support left-wing causes and groups.
Soros has a "god complex," according to critics who say this affects his ideas and donations. A longtime friend once said Soros thought he was "anointed by God to solve insoluble problems," Discover the Networks reported.
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